Wildcats dance the night away at prom 2022


    On April 30, colorful lights of blue and purple gleamed onto anticipating students’ faces, who dreamed of their exhilarating night ahead. A red carpet lined the path as couples and friends strolled into Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library. Food, drinks and dessert were offered by employees in tuxedos, and excited yells, as well as disappointed remarks, rang out from the poker table. Prom had begun.

   Prom planning begins early in the school year in order to find a setting for the magical night to take place. ASB Advisor Mrs. Priske explained, “We actually begin planning for prom a year and a half ahead. That’s how far in advance we have to book the venue, so we’ve already booked the venue for 2023 and then starting in September we’ll start looking for venues for 2024. [Ronald Reagan…] was where we were supposed to be in 2020 so it’s just carried over obviously with COVID.”

   The theme of this year’s dance was Skyfall 007, the codename for the famous British secret service agent James Bond. The character is portrayed in spy movies and is notorious for his glamorous lifestyle and gadgets. 

   Junior ASB member Ella Shin said, “ASB decided on the Skyfall 007 theme because we thought that it best fit the venue. The Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Library is blue-toned and a very elegant space. So, we thought that a James Bond related theme would look great at the venue.”

      Before heading up to the Reagan Library, a preview event at West Ranch launched the evening plans. The Promenade, or the introductory parade of the attendees, began at 5:30 p.m. and included each pair’s names introduced by Mr. Gimber, signaling them to walk around the amphitheater stage on a red carpet. Sparkling dresses and stylish tuxedos filed through as family and friends took advantage of this photo opportunity, as it would be the last time they would see the students until after 11 p.m.

   Anticipations grew as buses lined the firehill after the Promenade. Transportation to the event was provided within the prom ticket fee, which allowed students to sit with their friends and partners and watch the sunset on their way up the hill to the Reagan Library. After a 45-minute ride, the bus came to a stop in front of the venue, and students crowded the exit– their magical night was now closer than ever.

   At first glance, the massive, retired Air Force One hung above students as they walked inside the cabin. A jelly bean jar, employee mannequins, as well as the kitchen and the cockpit of the plane were on display for students to observe before they lined up for a buffet-style dinner. For their meal, attendees were given a caesar salad bar, herb-roasted potatoes, penne marinara and lemon chicken. Along with a table filled with sour candy and a full dessert bar of cookies, cakes and s’mores bars was a specialty soda station. Diet Coke, Sprite, lemonade and a mysterious blue drink lined the table in singular cups for students to choose from. 

   Attendees blended into the casino-like setting filled with plentiful tables, a DJ booth, casino games, a photo booth and an outside heated patio with couches and a dance floor. As the purple and blue lights filled the venue with class and glamor, students gathered with their friends and danced the night away. 

   As one of the last school events for seniors, the event held a special place in their hearts. Senior Sean Kim commented, “Three words to describe prom: lit, crazy, movie…I went with a beautiful date, which definitely made me appreciate and like prom more. But taking pictures, walking on the red carpet, and moshing with my date made prom an unforgettable experience.”

   Students could choose to let loose on the dance floor, try their hand at casino games like poker and blackjack, and the chips they won could be exchanged for raffle tickets for up to a $100 gift card. However, many students rested outside under the shining stars. Couples and friends found many photo opportunities among the dazzling view of rolling hills.

   Finally, the agents of Prom Court received their top-secret invitations to the top of a cascading staircase, as they were to be notified, along with the rest of the attendees, who would be crowned Prom Royalty.

   The top 12 prom court nominees, announced on WRTV earlier in the month, were Matt Abrahamian, Lexi Fernandez, Derek Miranda, Ricky Rojas, Jack Stewart, Pratika Prasad, Carol Wahba, Kelsey Schauble, Kendall Schauble, Avery Salin, Chris Taguba and Mira Mehra. ASB members and staff introduced each nominee with their favorite high school memory, which James Bond movie they would imagine starring in and who they would like to thank for their nomination. As anticipation grew among the crowd below, cheers roared as Pratika Prasad and Ricky Rojas were announced as Prom Royalty 2022. The two received their dazzling crowns and capes and posed for a picture with their fellow nominees. 

   The DJ slowed the music down and couples entered the dance floor as a slow-dance began. Groups of friends huddled together and swayed, and students danced the night away as buses began departing from the venue for those wishing to leave early. 

   But like all good things, prom too came to an end. Students swapped their glittering gowns for comfortable sweatpants and traded their heels for worn out sneakers as the night closed off. After a magical time of dancing, mingling and laughing, everyone who attended prom left the venue with memories to last a lifetime.